Friday, July 14, 2006

Pittsburgh Secures More Funding for Downtown Arena

The city of Pittsburgh has announced that they have secured in writing from two of the three major applicants that they will provide funding for the new arena in downtown Pittsburgh.
[Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato] made the statements after two of the bidders for the Pittsburgh casino -- Forest City Enterprises and PITG Gaming LLC -- committed in writing to providing $7.5 million a year for 30 years toward the arena construction, contingent on winning the license.
Although the best deal to build a new arena lies within the Isle of Capri to license a casino with it's promised $290 million dollars, it is quite encouraging to see that the situation is less stressful with several options now available at the Penguins benefit to stay in the city.
Isle of Capri, in partnership with the Penguins, has pledged $290 million toward a new home for the team as part of its formal bid. The Penguins are required to stay in town if Isle of Capri wins the license.

In the past, Forest City, which wants to build a casino at Station Square, had said it liked Plan B, but would not commit to a dollar amount, and first wanted to see a pledge by the Penguins to stay in Pittsburgh.

"We want to secure the Penguins' future in Pittsburgh and we believe that now, assuming the Pittsburgh Penguins ownership group is willing to stay in the city, they have every opportunity to do that," said Abe Naparstek, Forest City development director.
Onorato also is being quoted as saying that he spoke to the NHL Commissioner, Garry Bettman, (but in an interview this morning with WDVE-FM, Onorato mispronounced the Commish's last name) that Bettman continues to prefer that the Penguins franchise stays in Pittsburgh.

[Via: Pittsburgh Post Gazette]
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